Pleiotropic Effects of French Maritime Pine Bark Extract to Promote Healthy Aging

Rejuvenation Res. 2019 Jun;22(3):210-217. doi: 10.1089/rej.2018.2095. Epub 2018 Dec 12.


Extension of the healthy life span is of primary importance for the aging society. Among exercise, healthy nutrition, and mental training, food supplements are widely used as preventive measures to postpone the diverse symptoms of aging. The extract from the bark of the French maritime pine, Pycnogenol, rich on flavonoids, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative property, proven in in vivo studies. The extract reduces oxidative stress and improves endothelial health. Its antithrombotic properties are based on inhibition of platelet aggregation. In double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies, Pycnogenol shows diverse positive effects. With respect to cardiovascular symptoms, the extract has an antihypertensive effect, slows down the progression of atherosclerosis, and prevents venous thrombosis. As reported in studies in China and the United States, type 2 diabetes and diabetic retinopathy is improved with Pycnogenol. The extract restores mobility of seniors in case of patients suffering from osteoarthritis, Pycnogenol reduces pain and stiffness and use of analgesics. Furthermore, cognitive functions of elderly people, especially spatial memory, are significantly ameliorated. Climacteric symptoms are significantly alleviated by the pine bark extract. Urinary symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia are reduced by Pycnogenol. In combination with L-arginine, Pycnogenol restores erectile function in men with erectile dysfunction. The sum of these positive effects on relevant symptoms of aging suggests using Pycnogenol for a more extended period of healthy aging.

Keywords: Pycnogenol; atherosclerosis; cognitive function; diabetes; osteoarthritis; sexual function.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Healthy Aging / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pinus / chemistry*
  • Plant Bark / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • pycnogenols